Bitter gourd pachadi recipe Pavakkai dish

This is my mother-in-law's dish.  Pavakkai inippu pachadi .  Many of us do not like bitter gourd obviously because of its bitter taste though we are aware of the health benefits offered by it .

So this not very sweet gravy , my mother in law used to prepare.  I understand that she was doing it for four or five decades.  

The ingredients are bitter gourd - medium size - 4 nos
Onion - medium size - 1 no
Tomato - medium size - 1 no
White sesame - two table  spoons.
All these help to reduce the kasappu or bitter taste of bitter gourd.  

Bitter gourd recipes | Pavakkai recipes South Indian 


 First dry roast the white sesame seeds in a shallow vessel  till  they turn golden brown in colour.
Then dry grind to get a fine powder after cooling the seeds ( in a mixer )


Add a little oil in a shallow vessel called vanali in Tamil and add mustard seeds.

Then add the finely chopped onions to the oil

Next it is the turn of the chopped tomatoes to be added

Finally the bitter gourd pieces are added and all are mixed well in oil with a wooden or steel ladle.

Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder.  It is an important spice that is invariably added in Indian recipes from time immemorial

A lemon sized tamarind is soaked in water before we begin to cook .  The extract is squeezed with the hand and added to the vegetable mixture getting cooked.

Add half or one teaspoon of red chilly powder according to your taste

Close the vessel and allow it to get cooked.  White tomato and onion get cooked easily, bitter gourd usually takes a longer time.


When it is cooked completely , the waiting time is around  five minutes.  Add jaggery.  The jaggery quantity depends upon how sweet you want the pachadi to be.


Finally add the dry ground white sesame powder and stir well.  Add salt according to your requirement at any intermediate step.

Transfer the contents to a serving bowl after stirring well so that all the ingredients get mixed thoroughly

It is a good side dish for rice, dosa and chapati.

One of the favourite dishes of my in-laws.  The quantity of the ingredients which reduce the bitterness of the pavakai , namely white sesame, tomatoes , jaggery can be varied .  We can a sweet sour flavour if we get the right combination.  

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